The IHSVCA wishes Brother Paul Ickes continued success in his future endeavors and a huge thanks for all of his contributions to our organization and the sport of volleyball here in Illinois.....
Ash Wednesday – March 5th, 2014 (My 50th Birthday)
Good Morning Everyone-
Today, we embark on our Lenten journey toward Easter. Today, I am speaking to you to make important announcements regarding my life’s journey. Please, I ask you to wait until I’m finished speaking, and I ask you to please listen to my entire message. OK? Good!!!
So, here goes: After much prayer, thought, and consultation with the Brothers, I am announcing two things today:
- First, I will be leaving ministry at Brother Rice High School at the end of this school year. Simply put: I turn 50 years old today, and I am completing 25 years of ministry in varied capacities at Brother Rice at the end of this school year. I have had the amazing opportunity to spend literally half of my earthly existence as a Brother at Brother Rice High School. More than anything, I will always cherish my time with you… the students, athletes, faculty, coaches, staff, parents, alumni, alumni parents- EVERYONE! Thank you- you are the best!!!
- Second, I have reached another decision in my life’s journey. Before I say it, let me be crystal clear about this: There is NO scandal here, NO ONE is forcing me to do anything, and I have made this choice myself. AGAIN- I want to be crystal clear about this, OK? Good!!! I have asked the Brothers to be dispensed from my vows as an Edmund Rice Christian Brother which is scheduled to take effect sometime this summer. My plan at present is to stay in the Chicago area to assist my recently widowed mother Janice, my older brother Mark, and my younger brother Bobby and his family, and to seek employment outside of Brother Rice utilizing my gifts and talents somewhere in our Church. Although I may be “leaving the Brothers,” I have nothing but love, admiration, and respect for these men who have sacrificed everything to serve our Church- and in this case- serve our school. The Brothers have greatly shaped me into the person that I am today, and for that, I will be forever grateful. A part of me will always be a Brother no matter where my life takes me.
Why am I doing this? Because I believe this is where God is leading me on my life’s journey. Why make these announcements now, and why in this forum? Because frankly, I believe, the last thing that Brother Rice High School needs right now is another crisis and the things crises on the ‘South Side’ of Chicago many times bring- false rumors, conspiracy theories, supposed plots, and the like. Although the announcements I have made are incredibly difficult- believe you me- I truly feel that making these announcements now will help in a number of ways for everyone involved. First, by announcing now, Brother Rice High School will have the time and the freedom to begin immediately searching for successors in my roles as Campus Minister and Head Volleyball Coach. The students of Brother Rice High School deserve the absolute finest people to move both the Campus Ministry and Volleyball Programs here forward- because you are the absolute finest people I’ve been privileged to minister to and with! Also, my announcements provide me and all of us time to grieve, to share and reminisce, to prepare for transitions, and to relish the remaining months I will be with you at Brother Rice High School as a Brother, Campus Minister, Peer Ministry Teacher, and Head Volleyball Coach.
Further communications will occur starting immediately to the rest of the Brother Rice Community repeating these announcements I have made today.
I promise not to be a stranger: I have assured Dr. Burns and Mr. Antos that not only will I assist my successors in their new roles once they are named, but that I will remain involved in the Brother Rice Family as appropriate and as time allows.
Lastly, one of the lessons of our Lenten journey- and I think the most important lesson in our Catholic faith- is that at the end of anything in our lives, including at the end of life itself, there is ALWAYS LIFE! What a great thing- and Jesus is the model of this lesson by his own life. The Paschal Mystery- Jesus’, Passion, Death, AND Resurrection- despite pain and suffering and even death, in the end… life is patiently waiting… Easter… Resurrection… Eternal Life!! The cross just placed in ashes on your forehead by the Peer Ministers shows your belief in and your commitment to the Paschal Mystery- and this comes with tremendous responsibility. While very cool I’ve always thought- forehead crosses traced in ashes- these crosses are not fashion statements. My challenge to you now and always: Embrace and live the Paschal Mystery- it’s never too late to start, or start again, or start over.
Thank you for your time and attention today- I really appreciate it!!! Thank you for your love. Now and forever- I always have and I will always love you, Brother Rice High School, Blessed Edmund Rice, and the Brothers of our Founder and Namesake- Blessed Edmund Rice.
Please join me in a final prayer: Blessed Edmund Rice… Pray for Us! Mother of Perpetual Help… Pray for Us! Live Jesus in Our Hearts… FOREVER!
In Blessed Edmund Rice,
+ Brother Paul Ickes, CFC